We've been considering a “Hall of Fame” for gutters, imagining a way we could recognize the styles and materials that go into the best gutters in the business. We started by imagining a recognition for seamless gutters as one of the best players in the industry. This week, we want to imagine the recognition given to an unusual player, box gutters.
If we were to keep the analogy going and imagine seamless gutters as the hot up and coming, but box gutters represents the classic player, one who’s been in the game awhile and has combined talent with experience. Box gutters are a classic style that have been used dating back at least to the 1700’s, and there’s some good reasons why they’re still in use hundreds of years later.
Box gutters are built into the construction of your roof, usually using the same material as your building. Because of this, box gutters blend into the building in a way that other gutter styles don’t, allowing them to be integrated into and hidden by such features as parapets and gargoyles. (What can we say? They’re old school and classy.)
The building material is set in the shape of a gutter or valley (because of this, box gutters are sometimes called “Valley gutters”) then lined with sheet metal. The sheet metal used can be a variety of materials, just like other gutter styles Copper, steel, or aluminum are all common types. Because box gutters are custom made they can, and usually are, be set to a larger width than standardized gutters like sectional or even seamless gutters. (8-12 inches are common width sizes) This means they can handle a larger volume of water than other gutter styles. It’s also worth noting that because of the construction of box gutters, they don’t need some of the maintenance that other gutter styles require. Finally, all of this customization that’s available means that box gutters will blend better with your home, creating a better curb appeal.
There are some concerns to keep in mind with box gutters though. If they develop leaks, it can quickly lead to damage to your roof because they’re directly on the roof rather than hanging separately. It’s important that if a leak does develop, proper repairs should be done immediately. Cheaper tips for patching using tar or plastic patches will occasionally be recommended on the web, but these patches rarely hold up over the long term and risk serious damage to your home. Because of the risk of roof damage, it is critical that box gutters have an emergency overflow system. This will direct water away from the roof if an extremely heavy rainfall exceeds the box gutter’s capacity. Because they’re constructed to be out of sight, a gutter guard system is a particularly good idea with box gutters as you’re less likely to notice a blockage.
All in all, there are some great reasons that box gutters remain in use after all these years. They have a classy look that isn’t achievable with newer styles. And box gutters are built to last. That said, they come with a higher risk of roof damage if they develop leaks than external gutters. Their out of sight nature is great for keeping a sleek appearance to your building, but also require regular inspection since you can’t see them from the ground. Contact our professionals today to ensure that your box gutters are in the best possible condition and we can help work to keep them that way!